Winter's light slants in through my bedroom window, suffusing the walls and the room in a surreal golden glow. This is one of my favorite times of day in the winter, shortly before the sun ends her day's journey by dropping into the Pacific Ocean, lingering above the waves, then - with a flash! - dropping gently over the horizon.
I was recently donating blood at the nearby park and I looked east out the window as I was lying there. I gazed at the distinctive bark of the tree outside, really studying its peeling beauty, when suddenly the tree became bathed in gold from the west. The nurse was looking the opposite direction, out the front doors facing west and she dreamily said "I love this time of day ... the way the day turns to gold." I turned to look at her and her entire face and body were washed in light as she faced the sun's glow.
In the spring and summer, the sun sits high overhead and my entire courtyard is bright and sunny. In the fall, as the sun moves lower toward the equator, the angle is entirely different. The courtyard falls into shadow, blocked by the buildings, the sunlight too low now to rise above them.
Instead of bold, confident sunshine, we get this moodier, more nuanced light, a gift of winter that makes me pause and be still, be aware. The lower light hits the prisms hanging in the south-facing windows, throwing dancing colors around the rooms. The sun, too high in the summer, only dances the rainbows like this in fall and winter.
Spring and summer are often raucous affairs, with birds singing, flowers blooming, summer parties; everything wildly alive. But fall and winter are gentler, quieter, giving us pause for reflection ... a break from the liveliness of the other two seasons ... passive yin to active yang ... the duality of nature in perfect balance, inviting us to slow down and rest a bit, like all in nature does at this time. She is ever the perfect teacher.
Winter's light slants through my windows and I pause and give thanks.